the urban wood story

What is the Character of Urban Wood?

Wisconsin Urban Wood - Madison Wisconsin Urban Flooring

Urban Wood’s Character

The following is an excerpt from Paul’s book - Tree to Table: Emergence of the Urban Wood Movement

“Urban wood is as unique as each tree that grows. Unique branching structure, size, the stress it encountered throughout it’s life, nails board into it for a tree house, these all add the to character qualities of each board that is sawn on the mill. Urban wood is as unique as each backyard, some are an absolute mess, some are pristine, and you’ll never know what you’re getting until you open the gate, or in this case, until you make that first cut.

“One of the first things we here from buyers of urban wood is they love the unique character of the wood.  It almost sounds illogical, but with the extreme efficiencies that the commercial wood market has built, it is actually now hard for the custom woodworker to find the high character wood they desire through the conventional lumberyard.  Unless that specific character trait is defined and marketed, such as curly, birdseye, quarter-sawn or a handful of other defined grading terms. 

The lack of character wood in the marketplace is because much of the character contained within trees is considered defects in traditional lumber grading standards.Yes we typically don’t like splits, shake and twist, but bizarre grain, unusual mineral stain colors, unique knots, bark inclusions, pitch pockets and a variety of other unusual character traits can be the details that make a product unique.”